Somehow sensing that diverting education- designated dollars to a country club during a recession was a guaranteed ticket to taxpayer outrage, Superintendent White tried to rectify the situation… by doing it in secret.
This from The Herald Journal–
“District leaders still act as if there was nothing wrong with their decision earlier this year to give $325,000 of taxpayers’ money to a private country club to which three board members and the superintendent belong. They act as if there was no problem in discussing this plan behind closed doors, adding it to their agenda at the last minute, and basically doing what they could to keep the deal hidden… It wants its constituents to believe that there was nothing wrong with the deal or the secrecy in which it was made, that only a few troublesome individuals questioned it.
It’s nonsense, and the people know it. District leaders continue to erode public trust and confidence as they try to twist the perception of this issue.”
Crowds of angry Spartanburgers at School Board meetings, calls for his resignation, numerous outraged letters to the editor and even scathing editorials from The Spartanburg Herald Journal have failed to awaken Superintendent White to the fact that he is totally out of control.
White’s “Golf Gate” scandal prompted more digging into District 7 business practices, and discovered a pattern of waste misspending.
White and his school board spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a “marketing” firm, which White admitted was only vaguely reported in financial reports. Likewise, the same bunch spent nearly $30,000 on a weekend “diversity retreat” in Asheville.
In this case, the old saying “where there is smoke, there is fire” has been proven true. Unfortunately, for every gross example of waste by White and the School Board, there are doubtless many others that have slipped under the radar.
Taxpayers need to know that talking points about “high performance” school districts, and references to how much better certain schools are compared to “those other counties,” are no indicator of real transparency and accountability.
How many times has Superintendent White praised his district, and his own performance, all while conducting extremely questionable spending practices?
These are not isolated incidents that have anomalously cropped up in Spartanburg District 7; these actions reflect a pattern of disregard and entitlement that is the reality in many school districts across the state.
Upstate parents need to be realistic about the objective level of student performance in their local public schools. Too often, having “better schools than Allendale” is used to justify the chronic shortcomings of some administrators.
According to an in-depth Greenville Journal analysis,
“Of all test scores nationwide, broken down by coursework, income, parent education, and ethnicity of students showed South Carolina SAT scores this year were near the bottom among all groups and subgroups.
This runs counter to factors commonly cited as working against South Carolina — its disproportionately high percentage of test-takers, its high minority and low-income population, and counselors’ inability to regulate who takes the test, regardless of whether the students have taken the courses necessary to answer SAT questions.
In other words, white students, well-to-do students, students taking calculus and students whose parents have graduate degrees all scored among the lowest in their subcategories compared to their counterparts in other states.”
Taxpayers may be angry and hurt, but White is still walking the halls of District 7 with a six-figure salary and the power to make more equally-ridiculous decisions with other people’s money.
What is wrong with this scenario?